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ECS Workshop: Global Competition and Collaboration Strategies of Research Universities in China and Russia







IMG_0451Venue: Meng Wah Complex Room 820

(inside the Faculty of Education Library, 8th Floor)

Wednesday Dec. 16, 2015

1:15 pm – Welcoming word from Prof. Mark Bray and Dr. Anatoly Oleksiyenko

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm – Dr. Li Jun

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm – Dr. Shen Wenqin

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Dr. Zha Qiang

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Dr. Li Aisi

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm – Dr. Ma Jinyuan

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm – Dr. Zhen Gaoming

Thursday Dec. 17, 2015

9:30 am – 10:15 am – Dr. Mark Johnson (on Skype)

10:15 am – 11:00 am – Dr. Igor Chirikov

11:00 am – 11:45 pm – Dr. Alex Kuraev

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch at the Senior Commons Room

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm – Dr. Mikhail Lisyutkin

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm – Dr. Sergei Malinovskyi

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm – Dr. Anatoly Oleksiyenko

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm – Concluding remarks from Editors on a Follow-Up Plan

Mark Bray interviewed on CERC’s new book

In many parts of the world, students commonly attend and pay for private tutoring classes. Sometimes these extra classes are for remedial purposes, giving students additional help on content covered in mainstream school. Other times students use private tutoring to prepare for school examinations.

The phenomenon of private tutoring is diverse around the world, and researchers commonly use the term “Shadow Education” to describe it. Tutoring is considered a shadow because it often mimics the curriculum of regular schooling – as the content of the curriculum changes in regular schooling, so it changes in the shadow; and as the regular school system expands or contracts, so does the shadow system.

Professor Bray has written extensively on shadow education. His latest book, co-edited with Ora Kwo and Boris Jokić, is entitled Researching private supplementary tutoring: methodological lessons from diverse cultures.

Click here to listen to Mark Bray who speaks about researching shadow education and tips for researchers in this field.


Education and the State: Whatever Happened to National Education as a Public Good?


By Andy Green

Chair: Mark Bray

In an era which is rapidly losing the idea of education as a ‘public good,’ it is useful to remember the origins of our modern education systems, and the role of the state in their creation. Today we see a rapid marketising of education around the world, with increasing privatisation of educational services, the introduction of private sector management practices in public schools, and a growing perception of education as a private consumer good. The collective purposes of education, which animated the formation of national education systems, are being attenuated as providers view parents and students as customers, and the latter see education as a ‘positional’ good for which they must compete and, in many instances, pay.

However, just as we need to remember the key role of the state in the formation of education systems, we need to challenge some myths around educational globalization and markets. There is little evidence that neo-liberal models of education raise standards. Furthermore, the adoption of markets in education has been very uneven, and not all countries are converging around a single market model of education.

Andy Green is Professor of Comparative Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education, and Director of the ERSC Research Centre on Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES). His main field of research is the com-parative (historical and sociological) study of education and training systems. He has frequently worked as consultant to international bodies such as the European Commission, OECD and UNESCO, and to UK Government bodies. His works have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. A new and extended edition of his prize-winning 1990 book was published in 2014 as Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA. Other books in-clude Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societies and the Crisis of Globalisation, Palgrave 2011.

Date: Wednesday 18 November

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building

All are welcome!



Female professors in Denmark and New Zealand: Why the inequality?

By                 Dr Kirsten Locke
                    Faculty of Education and Social Work
                    The University of Auckland

In this seminar Kirsten Locke will discuss a comparative study she is undertaking in Denmark and New Zealand. The research explores the question of why there are significantly fewer female than male professors in these two countries. Both countries have pursued a project of reforming universities. Accompanying these reforms is a masculinity discourse that conceptualises ‘leaders’ as heroic change agents, with the determination, decisiveness and strategic vision to re-shape the institution in light of demands from external stakeholders. At the same time, the universities seek to address the embarrassingly low numbers of women in senior positions using strategies that are clearly marked by various versions of femininity that contradict the masculinity discourse. Initial findings from the Danish phase of the study will be presented. Themes that emerged in this phase include perceptions of leadership, the effects of neoliberal forms of university governance, and the complex challenges women face at different points of their university careers. The second phase of the study will involve senior academic woman at the eight New Zealand universities over February and March 2016. Possible directions for the New Zealand phase of research will be discussed with the audience in the context of women’s experiences in other settings such as Hong Kong.

Date: November 26, 2015 (Thursday)
Time: 1:15 – 3:00pm
Venue: Room 202, Runme Shaw Building, HKU
Discussants: Dr Sarah Aiston & Prof. Nicholas Burbules
Chair: Dr Liz Jackson

Kirsten Locke is a Lecturer in the School of Critical Studies and Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include philosophical enquiries into gendered academic career trajectories.



Qualitative Research in a Quantitative World

Professor Nicholas C. Burbules
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

November 25, 2015 (Wednesday)
12:45 – 14:00
Room 205, Runme Shaw Building, HKU
Discussant: Dr Kirsten Locke
Chair: Professor Mark Bray

The starting point of this discussion is to challenge the supposed epistemological gulf between these methodologies, as if we have to make a fundamental choice between them.

The pursuit of empirical understanding of the social world benefits from multiple theoretical and methodological approaches, each of which reveals something that others lack; and each of which lacks something that needs supplementing from the others.

In a time of emphasis on “big data” and “analytics,” this point needs to be revisited – not out of hostility to these powerful methods, but in order to avoid the temptation toward monofocal vision. We have two eyes for a reason, and bifocal vision gives us greater depth perception and a better view of context. This is a useful principle for educational research as well.

Nicholas C. Burbules is the Gutgsell Professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign., and the Education Director for the National Center on Professional and Research Ethics. His primary research areas are philosophy of education; teaching through dialogue; and technology and education.

His most recent books are Showing and Doing: Wittgenstein as a Pedagogical Philosopher, coauthored with Michael Peters and Paul Smeyers (2010, Paradigm Press) and Feminisms and Educational Research, coauthored with Wendy Kohli (2012, Rowman and Littlefield). He co-edited, with Paul Smeyers, David Bridges, and Morwenna Griffiths, the International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (Springer, 2015).

Kirsten Locke is a Lecturer in the School of Critical Studies and Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include philosophical enquiries into gendered academic career trajectories.


Researching Private Supplementary Tutoring: Methodological Lessons from Diverse Cultures


By Mark Bray, Ora Kwo (Editors)


Kevin Yung, Nutsa Kobakhidze

Zhang Wei (Authors)

Are you ready to believe in research findings just because they are published?

How can we cultivate a research culture for sustainable deep inquiry?

If you care about such questions, this book is for you!

Private supplementary tutoring, commonly known as shadow education, has greatly expanded worldwide. The topic is in some respects difficult to research. Contours are indistinct, and the actors may hesitate to share their experiences and perspectives. Presenting methodological lessons from diverse cultures, the book contains chapters from both high-income and low-income settings in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

Highlights for the book launch:

  •  the background stories leading to the critical reviews of all chapters
  •  insights into the design and conduct of research

Date: Friday 6 November 2015

Time: 14:30 – 15:45

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building

Participants are entitled to a 20% discount off the list price (HK$250)


Do PhD students supported by public competitive grants conclude their doctorates faster? Evidence from Portugal

By Hugo Horta

Chair: Mark Bray

Time to completion of PhDs has been rising. This reflects an increased opportunity cost for those interested in doing a PhD. It has been a longtime concern for policymakers, students and universities in countries with developed scientific and higher education systems, but starts to be an issue in developing countries where doctoral education is emerging and expanding.

This seminar will focus on the extent to which public funded PhD grants, under a competitive framework, impact on time to completion of doctorates in a country where doctoral education only developed substantially since the mid-1990s. The analysis is guided by contract theory, from a signaling approach perspective, to show that credentials (signals) can have either a positive or negative effect on time to completion.

Hugo Horta is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong, His research interest focuses on overlapping issues of science and higher education policy, namely academic mobility, careers and knowledge networks, internationalization of higher education, scientific productivity, and comparative studies. He is a Coordinating Editor of Higher Education, a leading journal in higher education research.

12.45 – 14.00
Tuesday 20 October
Runme Shaw 202


International Comparative Higher Education Research – From Myopic Insularity Towards a Global and Cosmopolitan Approach?

By Anna Kosmützky

New realities of a globalized higher education world have a profound impact on higher education research. Global and transnational topics are theoretically and empirically elaborated, whereas an international comparative outlook seems outdated.

This seminar will trace the development of comparative research using a set of empirical and conceptual meta-studies. It will elaborate on the state of art in comparative higher education research, and discuss its analytical and explanatory power in a globalized world.

Compared to other interdisciplinary and (sub-)disciplinary comparative fields, reflection in higher education research is underdeveloped. The seminar will recommend more precise quality standards for comparative research designs.

Anna Kosmützky has a PhD in sociology and is assistant professor at the International Center for Higher Education Research at Kassel University, Germany. Her research interests include (social) science studies and organizational studies with a focus on methodological issues of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Friday 9 October 2015

14:15 – 15:30

Room 202 Runme Shaw Building2

Data in Comparative Education

By David Turner 

Chair: Mark Bray

Over the course of a single generation – from 1960 until now – the place of data in Comparative Education has changed completely.

In the 1950s almost no data was available, and experts held meetings about how data might be collected about national education systems – what data should be collected, and how could steps be taken to ensure that it was comparable. Today international agencies such as UNESCO, OECD and the World Bank make huge amounts of data about different national systems available, and they are committed to making more available in the future.

This seminar looks at how we are using that data, and whether the availability of data has made us more or less sophisticated in our approach to data.

David A. Turner is Professor emeritus at the University of South Wales in the UK, and Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University. He is author of several books, including Theory and Practice of Education (Continuum, 2007) and Using the Medical Model in Education: Can pills make you smarter? (Continuum, 2011). He has been a long-serving officer of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES).

Date: Wednesday 7 October 2015

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Venue: Room 203 Runme Shaw Building


All are welcome!

Celebrating four decades of education in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG), the largest country in the South Pacific with a population of 7.5 million, achieved Independence 1from Australia on 16 September 1975. To mark that event, a National Education Conference assessed progress and looked ahead.

CERC’s Mark Bray (pictured here with a participant dressed in the colours of the national flag) had worked in PNG during the first decade of Independence, and was invited back as the opening keynote speaker. He recalled patterns in that decade and linked them to international picture including the Sustainable Development Goals just approved by the United Nations in New York.

PNG is kPNG (33)nown for its highly decentralized system, requiring internal comparison between provinces. Mark Bray had highlighted this theme in his 1984 book Educational Planning in a Decentralised System: The Papua New Guinean Experience. Equally, t
he event was an occasion for international comparison with peers – and, of course, for comparisons over time.

The event highlighted great achievements during the decades, albeit with much remaining to be done. A video news clip may be accessed here.

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